When it comes to arm strength people are usually focused on their biceps. In any gym, the majority of people are usually doing exercises that are focused on their biceps. However, one should not forget that they have to pay equal if not more attention to their triceps as well.
This is where the overhead extension tricep exercises come into play. They are very important when it comes to making your upper arms look good and have strength as well.
If your goal is to look ripped beneath your gym cover, then you should work on your triceps.
What are triceps?
Triceps brachii is a muscle that is three-graded and is involved in some important functions.
When you straighten your elbow, your triceps gets flexed. It would be impossible to straighten it or even twist it without your biceps.
Triceps are also important when it comes to stabilizing your shoulder pain. Without them, your shoulder pain would extend in a piercing manner, right into your hands.
The overhead extension tricep exercises are a great way to strengthen all three heads of your biceps, namely the medial, lateral, and long heads.
The long head muscle is the one that gets used up the most in the exercise but it is a great way for maintaining the overall fitness of your triceps. It is also a good exercise to add to your gym routine as well.
How to do the tricep extensions
The overhead extension tricep exercise is usually done with a dumbell. Many people also use the kettlebell. You can do it either sitting or standing.
- When you begin the exercise, you must remember to place your feet firmly on the ground.
- Hold the dumbell or kettlebell overhead by firmly grasping it with both hands.
- Start lowering the weight behind you by bending your elbows ever so slightly. Be careful and make sure the motion is slow.
- You need to keep your upper body straight and feel the exercise in your core.
- While bending the weight, make it follow the path of your spine.
- When you reach the lowermost point, straighten your elbows.
- Now bring the weight back overhead, again in slow motion.
- Now hold the position for a while and then repeat.
Doing the overhead extension tricep exercise will make you feel the strain in your arms and your core equally. You need to engage your core at all times so that your arms don’t tire and you feel the effect of the exercise fully.
Things to remember while doing the extension exercise
While picking the weight, you need to make sure it is comfortable to use. You can start low and then increase the weight as you get used to the exercise.
You also need to learn how to balance the kind of weight you are using, depending on what kind it is. It is fine to start the overhead extension tricep exercise with either the dumbell or kettlebell. All you need to do is remember how to perfectly hold the weight.
Another important point is that you need to be slow and steady. Do not attempt this exercise at a quick pace to get over it. You might end up hurting your shoulder, and will not get the most out of the exercise either.
Keep your trunk steady. You need to be stable while taking the weight backwards. Do not arch your back for any reason whatsoever because it will end up increasing the load on your back and shoulders, and you might even end up with an injury.
Variations of the tricep overhead extension
There are quite a few variations to the Overhead Extension Tricep exercise that you can incorporate into your routine once you get the hang of things.
Single arm tricep overhead extension
One of the most common extensions variation is doing it with one arm only. You can alternate the arms and make a workout out of it.
The advantage of this variation is you can focus on each tricep singularly and figure out what are your weak points so that you can work on them later.
Replace the weights with bands or cables
If you are a seasoned gym goer, then you can also replace the weights with the band. But make sure you know how to change the angle so that you don’t end up hurting yourself. It’s best to consult a trainer at the gym for help with this variation.
You can also use a cable for the overhead extension tricep exercise as long as you adjust the height of the cable so that you don’t have to break your back trying to complete a set.
The trick is to adjust the height of the cable to half or three-fourths of your height.
LYING triceps extension
You can lie down on a bench as well while attempting the overhead extension tricep exercise. The biggest advantage of this is you can focus solely on your tricep exercise. The lying exercise is the best variation if you are looking to bulk up in the arm area.
Gym ball lying triceps extension
If the lying overhead extension tricep exercise is too easy for you, try increasing the difficulty by lying down on a gym ball instead of a bench.
However, you need to remember that this is for seasoned professionals or someone who has a good back. If you have even the slight risk of getting your back hurt, you can stick to the cable or band extension.
The tricep extension exercise is a good addition to your exercise routine. If you don’t go to the gym, you can still attempt it at home safely. After all, everyone can do with increased arm strength.
The Overhead Extension Tricep exercise is a good exercise that will strengthen your overall fitness and make your gym routine even better.
Another advantage is that it helps with your shoulder stability which subsequently minimises the risk of shoulder and arm injuries whether at the gym or in real life.